Medicare Coverage of Chiropractic Treatment

What It Is

Chiropractic treatment

What's Covered

Medicare Part B covers only limited chiropractic services. Medicare Part B can cover chiropractic manipulation of the spine (no other parts of the body), and only to correct a spinal subluxation (bones of the spine not in proper position). The treatment must be performed by a chiropractor or other qualified provider who's Medicare certified.

If you have a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan: Some Medicare Part C plans, also called Medicare Advantage plans, provide broader coverage for chiropractic than traditional Medicare Part B does. To find out whether your plan provides extra coverage for chiropractic, contact the plan directly.

What Medicare Pays

Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for covered chiropractic care.

Warning: Because Medicare Part B coverage of chiropractic treatment is so limited, it's best to ask the chiropractor to get prior approval from Medicare before beginning treatment.

If you have a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan: Co-payments for chiropractic may be different under your Medicare Part C plan than under Medicare Part B. Contact your plan directly to find out.

Important: Regardless of the rules regarding any particular type of care, in order for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or a Medicare Part C plan to provide coverage, the care must meet two basic requirements:

  • The care must be "medically necessary." This means that it must be ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized medical provider, and that Medicare (or a Medicare Part C plan) agrees that the care is necessary and proper. For help getting your care covered, see FAQ: How Can I Increase the Odds That Medicare Will Cover My Medical Service?

  • The care must be performed or delivered by a healthcare provider who participates in Medicare.

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1 Comment So Far. Add Your Wisdom.

over 2 years ago

The Warning comment issued above regarding getting prior approval from Medicare is ridiculous and false. PRIOR APPROVAL IS NOT NECESSARY AND IS NOT EVEN POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN!!! You cannot GET prior approval from Medicare; it is up to the individual chiropractor to determine whether your patient's care is medically necessary and fits the guidelines that Medicare has established for chiropractic services. I am a chiropractor and I know this because I do this everyday in my practice. Call your chiropractor, discuss your health condition, and they will be able to tell you whether it fits the Medicare guidelines. They will also be able to tell you what services will be covered and what will not be covered.


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